The New Doomsday Bunkers
Underground bomb shelters and survival bunkers were all the rage in the 1950. As apocalyptic 2012, oil and food riots, and other "end is nigh!" hysterical predictions continue to rise, there's money in them thar hills for manufacturers of a new generation of reinforced holes in the ground,
From the Secret World of Doomsday Shelters:
If suppliers' reports are a gauge, the market is small but growing. Unlike 1950s-era fallout shelters and newer aboveground "safe rooms," meant to protect against storms and home invasions, bunkers are buried at least 6 feet under, in part to shield occupants from nuclear radiation.
You can buy a bare-bones shelter for $38,000 uninstalled or spend tens of millions of dollars — and a surprising number do — on a lavish, custom-made subterranean sanctuary.
Bunker builders cite a long list of client fears, from war and terrorism to megastorms and epic earthquakes. But the customers themselves aren't talking. "Secrecy is their defense," says shelter manufacturer Walton McCarthy, of Radius Engineering in Terrell, Texas. Shelter owners don't want neighbors and strangers pounding on the entry hatch in an emergency, he explains.
Also, many have installed shelters without building permits. While city and county authorities may disagree, McCarthy maintains that his prefabricated shelters fall outside building codes. "These have no foundations, so technically don't come under building code. They're self-contained and are not hooked up to the grid."
To sidestep nosy neighbors and building authorities, contractors may disguise the projects as swimming pool installations. "The hole is dug on Friday," McCarthy says. "We get there Friday at 5, by Monday it's in, and the neighbors can call whoever they want."
The home-bunker movement probably is not large. In 30 years, Radius has sold 1,100 shelters, from the six-person variety to ones big enough for 500. McCarthy says that business has doubled in the past five years, though, and that he's planning to nearly quadruple his 58-person work force and add a second plant.
In the market? See these:
Missile Base Silos for sale
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